Can you please elaborate - distraction away from Middle East, what exactly?In 2014 during the games in Russia, the Russians massed troops under the guise of protection against terrorism. They were conveniently ready to be deployed into Crimea quickly and without advertisement.
The Russian military isn’t aloof to all the videos and open source information displaying their military movements into Crimea and around Ukraine. If Myanmar can block access to information surely the Russians can too. In fact they are probably giving tacit approval of their movements in this region. It’s very much broadcast to intimidate the government in Ukraine and in my opinion also used for distraction. Putin doesn’t advertise what he will do he just does it. Something else is going on. If something massive breaks out of course they take strategic positions in Ukraine but I don’t think the prize is Kyiv or water supplies around Crimea even. Think bigger. This is 1)bravado testing Biden 2) distraction from other imminent military moves perhaps in the Middle East and a way to draw and divide opposing forces and or 3) distraction from domestic issues.
If a major war breaks out Ukraine and Taiwan may well be targeted but the prize is much much greater. Personally, after watching Turkey, Iran, China and Russia form alliances I believe something large is coming in the Middle East.
just my thoughts.
Middle East is "fine" on it's own, Russians are having problems and losing positions in Syria due to their incompetence in building influence at remote areas of the world. They are not "colonizers", they don't have vital skills and experience of building up relations and setting influence points within remote lands and it's inhabitants (aside of military bases). All they can offer is to protect and fight - they can kill everything and everyone, clear off the enemies, draw and secure borders and set rules on official level to neighbor countries, sure, but they cannot extract profit from it, they cannot hold it against Britain and France who are experts in manipulating from below, who easily exploits this fact. Russians were heroes for local populace until they ran out of enemies, only empty and quiet ruins left, locals now became more concerned about necessities like food, fuel and such, in face of falling currency in Syria. Now Russians are seemed to be "not needed" there, as they do not know how to save their face and counter nitpicking on populace that's coming from Western specialists.
This situation in Ukraine is all about the Europe and Nordstream drama.
And world is not only consists of US and Russia, China or alliances. Countries have their own will (most of them, at least), this situation reassures it more. Please stray away from Cold War mindset, it is not "something that is bigger, think bigger" anymore, you need to think in opposite, more closely in "little details" way, and notice them. Not a single Western person who lives far away enough from here, ever noticed and pointed out that this escalation is possible thanks to Turkey influence and recent success in Karabakh conflict from the military standpoint. It was not the US who offered breakthrough solutions to Ukraine, but Turkey, who worked with Ukraine military, let their officers in Azerbaijan to overlook operation in Karabakh, and after getting precious experience, they immediately provided Ukraine with real helpful insights, advisors and support, and you are indicating that they are "forming alliances" with Russia after that? No way, Turkey sees Russia as a target of it's raising expansionism and claims it's rights to Russian lands and islamic people, takes out Russian bits of influence out of neighboring regions, converting a big chunk of Russian populace towards their favor. As well as European countries which becoming much more conscious of themselves, arguing with each other over gas and vaccines, making deals with countries out of their block, etc. It's not a bipolar world anymore.